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The Danger of Overconfidence, Part 2

Grace To You / John MacArthur
The Truth Network Radio
August 10, 2022 4:00 am

The Danger of Overconfidence, Part 2

Grace To You / John MacArthur

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August 10, 2022 4:00 am

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This discussion in chapters 8 and nine and 10 is a discussion of Christian liberty and this point is very important in the area of Christian liberty that the Christian's freedom, not get too overconfident and they realize that there are limits that he has to impose on himself, even as from the penalty and the power of sin and you been freed to walk in newness of life.

The liberty you have in Christ is one of your greatest blessings, but if you ever thought about how it's also one of your heaviest responsibilities. Few things can repel or attract more people to Christ. So how do you use your freedom in the right way. John MacArthur's going to show you today as he continues his look at how you avoid the pitfalls of Christian liberty and with that, let's get to the lesson. Here's John MacArthur, the key to the first 13 verses of first Corinthians 10 is verse 12 verse 12 is the is the point that all of the other verses are trying to establish wherefore let him that's think it's a standard take heed lest he fall. The danger of overconfidence. When you think you stand. You are the most vulnerable for a fall.

That's the idea that Paul is dealing with in these 13 verses this first paragraph of chapter 10.

He shifts a little bit in the next paragraph beginning in verse 14 goes in another theme, but for this one is the theme of the danger of overconfidence. Now these are not isolated themes as they come in paragraphs and books, but they weaved together very well and yet each one has a distinct identity all its own. Now the principle of verse 12 is a much repeated Bible principle. Pride comes before a fall we saw last time. The Proverbs tell us so we ate, we need to understand what the whole passages about this discussion in chapters 8 and nine and 10 is a discussion of Christian liberty and this point is very important in the area of Christian liberty that the Christian's freedom, not get too overconfident and they realize that there are limits that he has to impose on himself even in his liberty, and that's where it fits it will see that as we develop a little further now. The New Testament teaches a lot about Christian liberty and that's his theme in chapters 8, nine, 10 of this letter teaches a lot about let me just give you the major points that identify Christian liberty Christian liberty and I want you to understand what it is and you will when I'm done. If you don't already Christian liberty. Number one is granted by God. God gives to the believer freedom in John eight if the son shall make you free, and it indicates that Christ is the agent of freedom. Galatians 51 says for freedom Christ has set us free in Colossians 113 God has delivered us out of the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of his dear son. In the segment is 317 where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom or liberty. So you have God, Christ and the Holy Spirit all tied into the liberty concept, where does Christian freedom come from it comes from the Trinity comes from God. The Godhead, how is it received.

How do you get free. How are you made free. John eight if the son shall make you free, you shall be really free, it comes when you believe in the Lord Jesus Christ.

John 830. Many believed on his name. John 831 and he said if you continue in my word, then are you my disciples and you shall be free of the son make you free should be free for real so we believe we follow on the believe in therein is our liberty so Christian freedom then is granted by God at the time when we receive Jesus Christ we put faith in Christ, we are set free know what is this freedom what does the New Testament say it is number one is freedom from the law.

We no longer need to keep ceremonial laws. We no longer are subscribed to ritual and tradition, there is now an internal guideline, the Holy Spirit no longer external rules and regulation. We don't have to earn the favor of God.

We are free from the law as a way to God as a way to please God as a way to fulfill God's desires for us and by that I mean the ceremonial law. Secondly, our freedom is freedom from the curse the people to break the law are cursed. God says we are free from that because Christ has paid the curse right curse.

It is everyone that hang us on a tree. Galatians 3 says in Christ was cursed for us.

He became a curse for us that we might not be curse or condemned or judged or damned or do so. Our freedom is freedom from the law, that is, from keeping a ritual is freedom from the curse that is paying the penalty for our own sin, then, is freedom. Also in Hebrews chapter 2 in verse 15 from the fear of death. We are free from the fear of death. It says in Hebrews 215 and deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage. Christ delivers us from the fear of death and one thing a Christian should have is no fear of death.

We may fear the pain. We may fear the disease and the illness, but not death itself because that simply ushers us into the presence of God. Another thing the Bible says about our freedom is in Romans six, seven, it says we are free from sin. What it means is that we are free from the condemnation of sin.

Sin cannot require anything of us because it's penalty has been paid. It also tells us in the New Testament in first Corinthians 919 eight that we are free from all men, and what Paul means is free from the rules and the traditions of man free from man-made religious rule in Galatians 43 in Colossians 220. It says were free from Jewish ordinances. So what is our freedom is freedom from the law. Pleasing God by externals, it's free from the curse having to pay the terrible curse of God for our own sin because it's already been taken care of, free from the fear of death free from what sin can do to us free from human regulations of religion and free from Jewish ordinances. We are free from all those areas. Paul calls it the glorious liberty of the children of God. Another thing about it not only comes from God and I do find it for you.

But another thing about our freedom. It belongs to all Christian. There are not some Christians more free than others. In Galatians chapter 5 in verse 13, Paul says for brother and you have been called on the liberty all Christians are called with a view toward freedom called with a view toward liberty. Now another thought about it.

The New Testament teaches is in our freedom. We are to hold onto it. Enjoy your freedom. People hang on to it.

Don't give it up. Don't let anybody circumscribe you to outward ritual.

Don't let anybody substitute ritual for reality. Don't let anybody drag you into forms you hold onto your liberty and you enjoy your freedom say West good news. That's right. It's a word you get that out of the Bible. Galatians 51. Stand fast.

It said or for freedom Christ has set us free. Therefore stand fast and don't be entangled again with the yoke of bondage stay within your liberty. Enjoy your freedom.

Galatians 24 is a good illustration of it.

Paul was always hounded by the Judaizers who wanted him to keep the law get circumcised and circumcise all the Gentiles and make the Gentiles keep the ceremonies of Moses.

So in Galatians 24 and that because of false brethren unawares brought in, who came in secretly to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might bring us into bondage.

There came the Judaizers. They were looking over the Gentile Christians. They were spying out there.

Liberty. What that really means is they were looking for weak points in the enemy's position like scouts you know they were trying to find where they were abusing liberty, or where the liberty wasn't working so they could force them back into bondage, but verse five to whom we gave place by subjection, no, not for an hour waiting. Let them take away our liberty, man, we were free from Jewish ceremonial is him and we were about to subscribe to it not for an hour, did we do that why Paul that the truth of the gospel might continue with you. Listen, if you give up your liberty all the time needlessly giving up your liberty to ritual informant ceremony and tradition. People will confuse that with the truth of the gospel. If you identify your Christianity by all the things you don't do that people will think that's what Christianity is all on your liberty, say but when when the apostle Paul went to Jerusalem and they told him to go take a Jewish bow. He did it. Holcomb is willing in one place to keep the ceremony of Moses and is not willing in another place that's a fair question. I'm even answer. He only gave up his liberty when it was necessary to reach the people he was dealing with was when the Judaizers try to hassle Paul to circumcise the Gentiles. He says forget it.

The Gentiles don't even believe in circumcision. Anyway, that's no problem with them when it came to working with the Jews.

If circumcision was going to make Timothy better able to work with the Jews. He would circumcised him. You see what the point is you never give up your liberty needlessly or people confuse the gospel with what you do or don't do what you will relinquish your liberty when in a society that you're in. It would offend somebody that's the difference. It's one thing to be a Jew under the Jews and some else to turn all the Gentiles and to do pulses not for a minute so your liberty comes from God is received to the gospel is defined as freedom from the law, the curse and almost things are meant. It belongs to all Christians, your to hold onto it in one of the point and that's the point to gets us in the first Corinthians 10. You're not to abuse it. Just because your holy Honda just because you haven't get abused. Now here's the tension on the one hand, see your your holding, I mold my liberty is my right. On the other hand, you don't want to offend anybody.

You don't want to abuse your liberty. Now there are two ways to abuse your freedom to give these two we covered one recovering another one here. There there are two ways to abuse your freedom number one by doing things that offend other people by doing things that offend other people and that will vary from culture to culture year-to-year aged eight, Paul says I look if I'm among Jews.

Yes, I will keep some mosaic ceremonies.

I want to reach them, but if one among the Gentiles, man. I'm not going to make them all do the Jewish laws would say don't even understand anyway. That would just be to relinquish my liberty needlessly and confuse them. So I says in chapter 9 he went into great detail. One way to abuse your liberty is to do things that offend others and free in Christ, man I'm doing around while gladly would I want to kill anybody. I was talking to missionaries recently were in Europe. They were little village smaller and the women there did not shave their legs.

That was just NS to allow place in the world.

But this particular place.

It didn't do it.

Only one kind of woman shave her legs, and I was a prostitute. That was the custom will and the missionary ladies arrived with their legs shaved cause a lot of problems for the people did not understand, and they had to relinquish their liberty at that point because he didn't want to be offensive because of the identification principle number one you're abusing your liberty when you're needlessly harming someone else when you could relinquish principal to the second will you abuse your liberty is by doing things that could disqualify you from service. In other words, when you run your liberty out to its limits and your plan on the thin edge. I think of the little boy climbed in the bunk bed one night in the middle of the night was a tremendous crash and he fell and hit the floor with a thud and his father came running in, he was crying on the floor and he said will what happened, how did you ever do that.

He says I think I fell asleep too close to where I got in and I think there's a lot of Christians who fall asleep too close to where they got in and there always flirting on the borderline. There they got there liberty there really liberty right after the sheer edge pulses are two dangers in the abusive liberty one that you would offend somebody else to that you would get yourself in a position to be tempted to fall in the Senate get disqualified from service.

These two things make up chapter 9 chapter 10 the first the first point of offending another is in chapter 9.

The second point of getting yourself in trouble is in chapter 10, and uses in chapter 10 verses 1 to 13.

An illustration of Israel to make his point. Israel fell asleep too close to where they got it and got a lot of trouble. This is a powerful illustration.

It kind of comes out of verses 24 to 27 of chapter 9 notice pulses and 24 on a race, we can potentially receive the price so Rhonda wouldn't know what is the prize to win people to Christ to be a soldier to be somebody who's used of God to win people to Christ and he says if you go to do that you're going to have to be verse 25 temperate or self-controlled, so he says that's why I wrote in verse 26 and I keep my body and bring it into subjection. Unless I myself should become disqualified. Now pulses would the Christian life is like a race were all Christians were in the race, but some of us could get disqualified doesn't mean you lose your salvation. It means you could be disqualified out of usefulness is talk about service winning people to Christ reaching people and he says in order for me to really reach people I have to bring my body into subjection. I have to be under self-control. I can't just let my body do whatever I want. I gotta be careful about my liberties. I got to be careful about what I allow for myself and I'll run myself right out of the sheer edge.

I'll get tempted and off all go and be disqualified. Set out of service with that concept. He moves into verses 1 to 13 of chapter 10 and he says this is exactly what happened to the Israel because of the failure to limit their liberty because of a failure to really deal with their bodies to really exercise self-control.

They lost out 2 million according to John Davis, 2 million of them probably is the number that died in the wilderness with their corpses strewn all over the wilderness. We went into verses 1 to 5 last time in detail the assets of liberty and it just describes this nation's elected by God as a witness in community to receive to preserve to pass on his revelation and to prepare the way for Messiah. They were freed.

He says in verse one guided under the cloud and through the sea identified with Moses. They all like the same spiritual food. They were sustained by God and sustained in water. According to verse four. They were freed guided identified sustained as a witness in community under the leadership of God's man.

Most the parallels obvious people. The Christian is God's called out witnessing community freed guided sustained in union with Christ to his they had leader is always making comparison Israel was in a race. The prize was to be a witnessing community that can reach the world, but to million of them failed to million other other carcasses strewn all over the wilderness and gotta start with a new generation because they were disqualified. Why were the disqualified because the abuse their liberty as they push their freedom to far they didn't put any restraints on it.

They just kept pushing and pushing and pushing until finally they fell. And that brings us to today let's look at the abuses of liberty versus 6 to 10 their assets of liberty and listed in the first five verses and how did they abuse it. Look at verse six that these things were are examples to the intent we should not lust after evil things as they also must this whole passage is written as an example. Verse 11 says the same thing. It says all these things happening to them for examples. Now Israel is an example of somebody who has freedom they been freed have been identified with God there sustained and guided the wilderness and the misuse of their freedom writ results in the disqualification. Perfect illustration of his second second way to abuse liberty by falling into temptation and sin because you're not careful know what work was going on. Will the whole overall thing is simply in verse six, they lusted after evil things. Now you can do two things of your body. Verse 27 of chapter 9. You could bring your body under control or verse six of chapter 10, you can just let your body go wild last. If you bring your body under control useful to God. If you bring your flesh under control useful to God. If you control by the Holy Spirit. If you're controlled by God useful if you're lusting after things in your body is in control and calling the shots. Your use less. If you are under control.

You are qualified.

If you are out of control. You are disqualified from useful know specifically what were the sins that Israel was committing what ways did the flesh manifest itself here we go number one verse seven idolatry, neither be ye idolaters, as were some of them as it is written, the people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up the play is going to make reference to a whole group of Old Testament incidents with wandering Israel. First of all, don't be idolaters now Israel was idolaters, and this really hits the issue current, because the Corinthians were living in a very potentially devastating society. The Corinthian society was totally overwrought with demons manifesting themselves behind these different idols and idolatry was a part of everything I mean everything there couldn't be any kind of public occasion or anything else that wasn't connected with idols. That was their entire society just multiple God's everything they did, practically within the social framework of the Corinthian society had idols and and so the mature Christians.

The Corinthian Christians you know who were this smug, confident, was a been around a while, they were saying this. Hey look, were in the society were mature we've been well taught apostle Paul's taught us we studied under him for 18 months. We know our way around.

Look, we've got to be a part of our society. We can go to the festivals, the social occasions the ceremonies and we can attend the celebrations of our society we can get involved in all of those things that we really don't have to fear because were so confident were so mature that that stuff just doesn't really bother us and if we have to eat idle meat meat offered to idols. Actually no problem were able to resist the temptation and that even if there is an orgy there. Why will just sit in the corner discuss theology where we're not going to really get involved in world will will be strong enough to handle it.

So, everywhere.

These mature, smug confidence. Corinthians went, they were exposing themselves to the whole gamut of idolatry that was around them and trying to stay separate but could they would Israel also look at hardly out of Egypt and out of the desert. There weren't even any idols around but the first opportunity. They had the first time. Their leader was gone. They reverted back to Egyptian idolatry and here were the Corinthians not like Israel in the wilderness, but living in the middle of idolatry and if the Corinthians continually expose themselves to idolatry. They were constantly being a part of it. Believe me, it would creep right in. Look at the morality of our day with the morality of the church is changed dramatically and the reason it's changed so dramatically is because we have been slowly brainwashed like 50 years ago the morality of Christianity was much tighter much more rigid, much, much more confined to the Scripture. And now, little by little the morality even of quote Christianity begins to dissipate.

And the reason is because we are in a society that is destroying all morality that is wiping out all morality and consequently we find ourselves buying the bag just subliminally, it approaches our minds and before we know we got a watered-down morality and some of the things we would do some of the places we would go wouldn't even have been conceived of by Christians 50 years ago. The reason is we have slowly been brainwashed by the media policy in a sense saying to the Corinthians. You can't set yourself up as somebody who thinks he stands without potentially falling, and especially you will never be able to just waltz around your whole life with idolatry and not have it affect you. You're going to come up with a syncretism you going to come up with a wedding between idolatry and true worship number seven, neither be idolaters, as were some of them notes that not all Israel worshiped at the Golden calf. Some of them did.

It was an individual thing again in dealing with Israel in the wilderness remember everything that occurred was an individual thing and so incorporate the same thing was to look at chapter 5 verse 11 some Corinthian Christians were idolatrous. They had already made this wedding of Christianity to idol worship. Verse 11 I written unto you, not the company. If any man that is called a brother and I talked about Christians. Anybody called a brother or Lisa called himself a Christian be a fornicator sexually evil. A covetous or and what idolaters don't have anything to do with him, but apparently within the congregation of the Corinthian believers. There were some worshiping idols you see by fooling around with that. They couldn't keep separated. It slowly creeps in. It insidiously comes in.

Can't continue to expose yourself to that and not have it affect your theology and find a place there.

The line gets blurred folks. It just gets blurred and idolatry subtly creeps in when freedom is abused by getting too close to the content you're listening to Grace to you with John MacArthur, Chancellor of the Masters University in seminary and today's lesson highlighting the dangers of spiritual overconfidence is part of his current study, titled pitfalls of Christian liberty John. I'm sure some listeners have exercised their Christian liberty, only to find out that they offended another believer, so talk to that person who even though his actions didn't violate Scripture or violate his own conscience. He still offended a brother or sister in Christ, what steps can he take to mend that relationship well and offense is a reality we are not to be offensive as believers and the way that we look at that is twofold.

First of all, we don't want to offend someone by our sin. In other words, we don't want to be a real stumbling block to someone because we sin, and they follow the pattern of our sin, but there's a second way in which we don't want to offend people and that is we don't want trampled their sensitivities. In other words, the apostle Paul puts it this way if meat causes my brother to be offended. I don't want to eat any meat.

The kingdom of God is not about food and drink. So if I need to restrict say in that case eating meat that had been offered to idols or if I need to restrict drinking certain things because it offends my brother pulses on on the can eat meat. I'm looking to do that. This is how love acts. Love does not offend.

First of all, as I said, it doesn't offend in a simple way that it doesn't even offend in a freedom that sort of tramples on someone else's sensitivities. There are things in my life that I don't do not because the Bible forbids me because I don't want to offend people who might stumble at that.

If you have offended someone go to that person and make it right to seek forgiveness and restore that love. Thank you, John and Nell friend as John was saying.

Forgiveness is crucial to every relationship you have. It just might redeem your marriage or deepen your bond with your children or strengthen your testimony at work to make sure you understand forgiveness. Both God's forgiveness of you and yours for others.

I would encourage you to get John's book the freedom and power of forgiveness order a copy when you contact us today call our toll-free number 855 Grace or shop online@jidety.org. The title of this book again the freedom and power of forgiveness. Get a copy in English or Spanish. When you call 855 Grace or shop at GT why.that's our website and when you visit their TTY.org.

Make sure you take advantage of the thousands of free resources that are there for you including Grace Grace stream is a continuous loop of John MacArthur sermons starting in Matthew chapter 1 verse one going all the way through the end of the book of Revelation takes a couple of months to get through all of those sermons and then we reset the cycle and they all repeat whether you have 15 minutes to listen for a couple of hours, jump into the grace stream today and anytime for verse by verse encouragement from the New Testament, you find grace stream at GT why God now for John MacArthur. I'm Phil Johnson. Keep in mind Grace to you television errors this Sunday on DirecTV channel 378 or check our website to see if it's available on a channel in your area and join us tomorrow when John looks at one of Israel's greatest sin that can teach you about your freedom in Christ. Another half hour of unleashing God's truth will set a time.

Grace to you


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